View Full Version : Confused in "Ukulele Exercises for Dummies" - Fretboard: Scales (Ch. 11)

07-20-2013, 08:30 AM
Specifically, on pp. 159 (US edition) they give two scale diagrams for CMaj:

Position #1: C major scale

This makes sense... the scale is there in the standard position. The "X" is where C is a black filled circle. C +8va on the 3rd fret is also highlighted in black.

Position #2: C major scale

This does not make sense to me. I understand it, but what is the purpose? Does practicing like this (starting on D, or other non-root notes) allow you to start anywhere mid-fretboard? I've only really seen the big diagrams that go all the way up to 12fr. before (as on pp.161).

Again - I understand the how... not the why of diag. 2.

Kayak Jim
07-20-2013, 09:07 AM
I can't help you as I haven't made it that far in the book yet (and I suggest if you have you're probably not a beginner).

But you might want to contact the author Brett through Ukulele Tricks http://www.ukuleletricks.com/ and ask him the question.

07-20-2013, 03:26 PM
I can't help you as I haven't made it that far in the book yet (and I suggest if you have you're probably not a beginner).

But you might want to contact the author Brett through Ukulele Tricks http://www.ukuleletricks.com/ and ask him the question.

You need to (re)read the introduction! They encourage you to skip about in the book... this comes at the very start of Part IV. I've been working on all three sections (Parts II, III, & IV) - though I've only started looking at IV (a week or so into the book).

I'll look into asking the author... I guess I'd better be sure I've read through all the surrounding text well myself, first ;)

07-21-2013, 04:24 AM
Did you get an answer to this question? It is confusing. Maybe it's just an exercise?

07-21-2013, 06:42 AM
I just posed the question to Brett McQueen by e-mail early this morning. I believe he's in Britain and it's Sunday, so I expect at least a couple days at worst before I get a response. I have no idea how often he checks e-mail.

I do have a guess at what they're for, though I'm not completely certain. After thinking about this yesterday and today, I think each of the three patterns is an exercise to help you memorize the 12 fret pattern. I can't be certain of that, though... since playing a C scale starting at D and E doesn't make a lot of sense to me, even for pattern recognition purposes... but then, I didn't write the book.

Starting CMaj at A, on the other hand . . .

. . . that yields A natural minor, if you don't know your circle of 5ths ;). I can't say I know it well, just how to use it -- there are a million things to learn and I'm a few steps (followed by a half step) in.

07-21-2013, 07:37 AM
It looks to me like the point is to get you working up the neck and out of first position, where there is more reliance on open strings and fingerings on the first few frets.

GCEA are all notes in the C scale. As sharps and flats are added in various scales, it is not always possible to rely on open strings.

If you are playing higher up the neck, it's not always doable to drop down to first position and jump back, so you learn to play those notes higher up the neck on a different string. Say you're playing an E on the 7th fret of the first string, and the next note is the F below it then back to E again in rapid succession. Dropping to the first fret of the E (2nd) string is awkward and would require quite a stretch. So you'd play that F on the fifth fret on the C (3rd) string instead.

This is where learning moveable scales and chords comes into play.

07-22-2013, 10:52 PM
From Brett McQueen:

Hi Thomas,

Thanks for sending me an email! I'm happy to help answer any questions you have about this part in the book.

The way I present learning scales in my book is by looking at scale positions for each scale across the fretboard of the ukulele. So for the C major scales, I present a few different positions for the C major scale that span the ukulele fretboard. Each of these scale positions start on a different note found in the C major scale. For example, position #2 starts on a D note -- the second note in a C major scale. It is still a C major scale because it has the same notes that are found in a C major scale, but it starts on a different note in the scale.

Practicing each of these C major scale patterns/positions in the diagrams is helpful because you will find that these same patterns repeat themselves in major scales in other different keys. As an exercise, ascend and descend through the scale pattern. As you do so, shout out the note that you are fretting and plucking. This is good for improving movement in your fingers and as you go further you'll find that these same movements are used in actual songs and to play scales in other keys. Additionally, if you've learned all four C major scale positions, you've essentially learned where all the notes in a C major scale are located across the fretboard. This helps you learn the notes of the fretboard, which is useful for solo fingerpicking, composing, and much more.

This theory stuff can be a little intimidating at first and it can make you scratch your head and wonder why it's worthwhile. I promise that it will pay off in the future, especially for solo fingerpicking and if you ever want to do any arranging or songwriting yourself. At the same time, don't hesitate to send me an email as you come across more questions or if I've created more questions for you just in this email :-).



07-24-2013, 07:10 AM
Thanks for posting the clarification Thomas.